Tequila Versus Mezcal: Which Agave Spirit is Right for You?

Tequila-Shot-Agave-Mezcal

Mexico is known for importing many things. The most popular, perhaps, is tequila. In 100% agave tequila, the only two raw materials needed are agave and water.

Partida Tequila is one of many brands that is truly committed to the use of the best agave from the Tequila Valley. Their production process is clean and slow. “All of the equipment used in the production process is made out of stainless steel and the cooking and distillation process are slower (lower temperature) than common productions,” says Partida Tequila’s Master Distiller Jose Valdez. Partida is a premium, boutique Tequila with very high quality standards. 

The name “Partida” is a last name and it has different meanings in Spanish, including departure. “The reason Partida chose their name is in honor of all the agave farmers in Mexico.” Since Partida only uses agave from the Tequila Valley (the towns of Tequila, Amatitan, Arenal and Magdalena) and there are many agave farmers from that region that carry the surname, they decided to use it for the company name.

What’s the difference between tequila and mezcal?

Both are agave fermented and distilled alcoholic beverages, but have many differences between them. “They also have appellation of origin, which means that they are protected and cannot be produced out of certain regions and have certain standards.”

The main difference between the two is that tequila can only be made from one kind of agave and mezcal can be from many. “Tequila only uses one type of agave called agave tequila weber variety blue or just blue agave.” Also, the agave must be cultivated in five states: the whole state of Jalisco and a few areas located in Michoacán, Guanajuato, Nayarit and Tamaulipas.

Tequila-Blue-Agave-Mezcal

“In the case of Mezcal, fourteen types of agaves can be used and blended such as espadín, maguey de cerro, bruto o cenizo); maguey de mezcal, maguey verde o mezcalero and more.”

Mezcal can be produced in eight states including Durango, Guerrero, Oaxaca, San Luis Potosí, Zacatecas, Guanajuato, Tamaulipas and Michoacán. The last major difference is the fact that the production of Tequila is more industrial and more regulated than Mezcal, which has a more artisanal production.

Partida is not only an authentic, classic Tequila, it is also a popular brand preferred by the bartender community. “It is also a favorite of people who love good quality Tequila in the most trendy places in the world including US, UK, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, Mexico and more.” Partida only produces 100% agave Tequilas in four types: Blanco (no aging), Reposado (aged 6 months), Añejo (aged 18 months) and Extra Añejo (aged 40 months). “All the casks used for the aging process come directly from the Jack Daniels distillery.”

These 200 liter white American oak casks have one pass of three years with Jack Daniels and are filled with Partida Tequila right after the barrels are emptied at the distillery in Tequila.